Mariners - 200 010 200 - 5 7 0 Red Sox - 012 100 000 - 4 8 2Matsuzaka (4-3-3-4-4, 82) was taken out of the game one batter into the fifth inning in what was later called a precautionary move because of right elbow stiffness. While facing Ichiro Suzuki, Dice's fastball dropped to about 85 and Jason Varitek was quick to call out Terry Francona and trainer Mike Reinold.
In the seventh, with Boston up 4-3, Bobby Jenks allowed a single to Ichiro and a double to Chone Figgins. Jenks struck out Milton Bradley, but the tying run scored on Miguel Olivo's grounder to second. After Jenks walked Justin Smoak, he gave up an RBI double to Jack Cust.
In Jenks's last six outings, covering 4.1 innings, he has given up nine runs and 12 hits. His ERA over that period (18.69) looks almost as bad as the dead rodent he has chosen to glue to his chin, but Francona's irregular usage patterns have not done him any favours. Jenks pitched in three straight games out west (throwing 60 pitches on April 20-21-22), then sat on his ass for a week before working tonight.
Jed Lowrie nearly tied the game in the bottom of the ninth, but his fly ball to deep center was pushed back by the wind and caught by Michael Saunders. If it had been hit a little bit further towards right field, it might have landed in the bullpen.
Mike Cameron hit two solo home runs, one down the right field line and one over the Wall. Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz had RBI singles in the third. Adrian Gonzalez is looking better and better at the plate. He singled in his first two trips, then grounded out to first (Smoak ranged far to his right to rob AG of a hit) and lined out to right.
Jason Vargas / Daisuke Matsuzaka
Matsuzaka makes his third start since his awful outing on April 11 against the Rays. In two starts against the Blue Jays and Angels, Dice has pitched 15 shutout innings, allowing only two hits and four walks. Here are the number of batters faced in each inning of those starts:
0418 vs TOR - 443 333 3 0423 at LAA - 353 434 33The Mariners are in last place in the AL West, 11-15 and 4.5 GB the Rangers. They have the worst team batting average in the American League (.235)*, the second-worst slugging percentage (.344), and are 9th in on-base percentage (.314). However, they are second in walks (101), one fewer than the league-leading Red Sox. Seattle has allowed 4.54 runs per game, 9th in the AL; Boston is 8th with 4.42.
* Did you know the Padres are batting .208 as a team? Only one of their regulars is batting over .238. In the last seven games, San Diego is hitting .174/.237/.248/.485. It's like an entire team of Saltalamacchias (.191/.255/.234/.489).
AL East: Blue Jays/Yankees and Angels/Rays at 7 PM; Orioles/White Sox at 8 PM.